2010 Maserati GranTurismo Review

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Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
March 10, 2010

With its gorgeous styling and Ferrari-built engine, the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo is hard to fault.

TheCarConnection.com has driven the GranTurismo to bring you firsthand impressions and an overall assessment here in this Bottom Line. Then to bring you a wide range of opinions, TheCarConnection.com has handpicked highlights from many consumer and enthusiast publications that have also reviewed or tested the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo in person.

Two years ago, the Maserati GranTurismo replaced the GranSport model. The lineup was then expanded last year with the introduction of the more powerful GranTurismo S, as well as a new ZF six-speed automatic in replacement of Maserati’s previous robotized semi-manual transmission. This year sees the introduction of the GranTurismo Convertible, also called GranCabrio, which is easily the pick of the bunch if money is no option.

The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo has a very attractive silhouette, keeping up with the sleek voluptuous design that one would expect of an Italian exotic. You need to see the GranTurismo up close to really appreciate its beauty, which is dominated by the curves, the low front end, the flared rear fenders, and the oversized front grille.

The standard 2010 Maserati GranTurismo comes equipped with a 405-horsepower 4.2-liter V-8, while the sportier GranTurismo S gets a 4.7-liter engine with 433 horsepower on tap. Both engines are a variation of an original Ferrari design and, as expected, sound wonderful when revved hard. The GranTurismo Convertible also gets the more powerful 4.7-liter V-8. Standard across the GranTurismo range is a six-speed ZF automatic transmission. After being introduced last year, it has proven to be an excellent replacement for the old Duo-Select automated manual gearbox. The ZF automatic shifts quickly and decisively, and it seems to react more promptly to throttle inputs and steep grades than most automatics. Click the paddles alongside the steering wheel, and it almost instantaneously commands a shift. The 0-60 mph run now takes just 5.1 seconds in the GranTurismo, while the GranTurismo S gets there in 4.5 seconds. Top speeds are 177 mph and 183 mph, respectively. The GranTurismo convertible, despite having the more powerful engine, is the slowest of the pack with a 0-60 mph sprint time of 5.3 seconds and a top speed of 176 mph. The slight performance differential is due to the extra weight of chassis strengthening required when removing a car’s roof.

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The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo manages to handle in a very nimble fashion in tight corners, aided by the quick ratio steering. This allows even the most amateur of drivers to attack hairpins with ease despite the fact that the car is considerably heavier than its rivals. The famous Skyhook-derived suspension provides a firm ride coupled with little body motion, and changing the driving mode to Sport as expected firms up the ride further, as well as increasing throttle sensitivity. Stopping power from the brakes is excellent, with the resistance on the pedal reminiscent of other exotics and classics.

In comparison with other coupes of this size and class, the interior of the GranTurismo offers slightly narrower seats and footwells. The car’s cabin feels intimate, due to quality materials and soft, minimally processed leather quite unlike the stiff slippery type on mass-produced luxury coupes. The seats, while great looking, are also rather flat and can get slightly uncomfortable on long journeys. The two rear seats are more for show than any practical use, as it is too small for adults to get in and out of, let alone sit in it. The headroom is also rather limited due to the design of the pillars, which slope inward to the roof. However, compared to previous Maseratis, the driving position is still much more accommodating for taller and larger people. The trunk is also a bit tight, with only enough space to carry a small suitcase or a couple of little duffel bags. Fans of top-down cruising will also be glad to know the GranTurismo Convertible's trunk space is the same with the top up or down, meaning you won't have to abandon your overnight luggage by the side of the road should thunderclouds loom on the horizon. The whole affair is surprisingly refined, though; it's interesting to note that the 2010 GranTurismo proves to be remarkably civilized when driven with ease.

Unfortunately the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo has not been crash-tested, though the safety-feature list is competitive; seat-mounted side airbags and head-protecting curtain bags are included, along with anti-lock brakes and stability control all as standard.

All GranTurismos are built to order and are highly customizable. For example, customers can pick from eight different upholstery colors (including the very bright-red Rosso Corallo), three different wood veneers, ten different dash surfaces, and a tremendous number of combinations for steering-wheel trim, carpets, and seat stitching.

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2010 Maserati GranTurismo

Styling

The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo definitely stands out in terms of looks.

The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo has a very attractive silhouette, keeping up with the sleek voluptuous design that one would expect of an Italian exotic. You need to see the GranTurismo up close to really appreciate its beauty, which is dominated by the curves, the low front end, the flared rear fenders, and the oversized front grille.

The GranTurismo has united reviewers from all types of publications as they express unanimous approval of its exterior design. Road & Track finds it a "stylish Italian grand tourer that through the judicious application of high technology has the heart of a true sporting machine." Car and Driver reviewers on the other hand call it "a Modenese masterpiece."

Edmunds describes it as "a four-passenger grand touring coupe available in two trim levels—base and S." Exterior wise, there is little difference between the two trims. Motor Trend notes that the "visual mods are subtle" and confined to "a small spoiler on the rear deck, revised rocker panels, and a black grille and headlamp casings" for the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo S. Edmunds declares that the GranTurismo lineup "looks like nothing else on the road—in a very good way." The editors at TheCarConnection.com can't agree more with the word that the automotive press most commonly uses to describe the Maserati GranTurismo: "seductive."

The interior of the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo is just as elegant and luxurious, with the switchgear placement the only major complaint. Road & Track reviewers claim the most glaring flaw is that "you have to be positive in stabbing the brake pedal—it is positioned close to the gas pedal.” The other notable gripe comes from ConsumerGuide, who find that "the standard navigation system is a nightmare of nonsensical buttons and knobs...requiring lengthy study before use." On the other hand, Car and Driver states "ergonomics are mostly the antithesis of Italian tradition" with the driver placed "in proper relationship with primary and secondary controls." However, they point out that "the signal and wiper stalks were a little too far away." Overall, reviewers agree with Edmunds, who claim that the "leather-cased interior is warm, inviting and highly customizable," with a "driving position [that] is first-rate."

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2010 Maserati GranTurismo

Performance

The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo has the perfect combination of handling and ride comfort for a car in the class.

With the introduction of the GranTurismo S and now the GranTurismo Convertible, the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo lineup is equal to anything else in the class. Thankfully, Maserati stays with the new ZF transmission that reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate is among the best available.

Car and Driver finds that base Maserati GranTurismo models come with "a 405 horsepower, 4.2-liter wet-sump iteration of the engine you'd normally locate in the middle of a Ferrari F430," while the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo S “gets a new version of Maserati's Ferrari-derived aluminum V-8," which displaces 4.7 liters and pumps out "433 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque."

While both of the engines emit a ferocious sound, the Maserati GranTurismo S is understandably more intimidating and enjoyable to hear at full throttle. The Maserati GranTurismo Convertible also benefits from the more powerful engine. Automobile Magazine states that "there are faster cars than the GranTurismo S, but none of them make more intoxicating sounds when you select the Sport mode, thereby opening a bypass in the exhaust and liberating countless decibels of race-car-style mayhem." ConsumerGuide is a fan of the Maserati GranTurismo's passing power, noting that "once underway the engine shines...pulling vigorously as revs climb." Acceleration numbers are brisk, with Automobile Magazine reporting that the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo S "leaps from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds."

As for the ZF six-speed automatic gearbox, Car and Driver finds that "every shift is a crisp rifle shot preceded by matching revs, followed instantly by a big green LED informing what gear has been summoned." Edmunds reviewers stand their ground against automatics, claiming that they "still like to row [their] own gears with one of those iconic Italian gated shifters," but in their absence, the "crisp automated manual has placated [them] to some extent."

The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo hits a snag in the marketing department: Though it's a grand touring car, it needs rather frequent fill-ups, due to an EPA-estimated gas mileage of 12 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. This isn't too bad considering the segment of cars it’s bundled in. For example, there's the Ferrari F430, which shares an engine similar to the V-8 found in the Maserati GranTurismo; it gets 11 mpg city and 16 mpg on the highway.

The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo lineup's suspension affords an impressive combination of ride quality and performance. Car and Driver testers note that "the car always felt stable, nicely planted, and free of extraneous body motions," while the ride is "firm but never intrusive." TheCarConnection.com's research supports both of those claims, as ConsumerGuide finds that "every nuance of the road surface is felt but effectively filtered, with no harshness or crashing." The major handling complaint comes from Car and Driver, where reviewers are not fans of the fact that the steering is "too heavy at all speeds" with "some slop on-center."

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2010 Maserati GranTurismo

Comfort & Quality

The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo as expected provides a classy interior, though some might still complain about the lack of practicality.

Considering the starting price of the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo, there shouldn’t be any oversights, but in terms of the interior, there are a few quality niggles. As can be expected, despite its billing as a long-distance cruiser, the Maserati GranTurismo's seats lose their comfort after some time behind the wheel, and the cargo area won't accommodate any meaningful amount of luggage.

Road & Track claims that the "leather covered bucket seats are...extremely comfortable,” though Car and Driver finds that "they're great for short bursts of spirited driving but can induce some squirming in the second hour of occupancy." ConsumerGuide notes that in the front "there's sufficient headroom and legroom for most folks" and the pair of "large, wide-opening doors [makes] entry and exit easy." TheCarConnection.com observes that most reviews tend to vilify the backseats; Car and Driver testers say sitting in the backseat of the GranTurismo is "like sitting in a dark cistern." ConsumerGuide is a fan of the rear because of its "surprising adult space"—that is, "if that adult is small and the trip is short," they add.

That brings us to storage space in the trunk. Car and Driver finds that the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo's "trunk is small," despite Maserati’s claims that it will hold a bag of golf clubs. Car and Driver figures that “perhaps Maserati meant miniature golf."

No one questions the quality that Maserati offers in this new generation of grand tourers. Road & Track claims "the fit and finish of the cockpit is first rate,” while ConsumerGuide finds the Maserati GranTurismo's cabin "more private library than car interior."

In terms of road noise, Maserati's latest GranTurismo does not protect occupants from all manner of sounds. ConsumerGuide contends that the sound is "more music than mechanical noise," while "the GranTurismo's engine is a delight to hear rev," especially since "the engine is always heard, even in relaxed cruising." Car and Driver chips in with a footnote: "eighty dBA at wide-open whack...is a lot of sound. But at least it's a good sound."

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2010 Maserati GranTurismo

Safety

The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo offers as much safety as is expected out of a car in this category.

Since buyers at this end of the market are quite nonchalant about crash-test scores, it's no surprise that neither NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash-tested the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo.

However, in terms of safety equipment, the GranTurismo range sports a full complement of airbags. The inflatable protection includes both front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Edmunds states that the Maserati GranTurismo "comes standard with antilock brakes, [and] stability control." The stability control doesn't kick in straight away, only coming into play when there is serious danger ahead.

The main concern that detracts from all the safety equipment offered with the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo is driver sight. Car and Driver finds that the "sightlines are mediocre" from the driver's seat of the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo, as they are "hindered by a small backlight and the fat A- and C-pillars." Edmunds looks for a bright spot and claims that parking maneuvers in the Maserati GranTurismo are made easier by the standard "rear parking sensors."

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2010 Maserati GranTurismo

Features

The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo is offered with the options suited to its target market, which means it pretty much has everything.

The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo will set you back a hefty sum, and for that kind of money, some would expect a longer list of standard features.

Customization is the name of the game for the Maserati GranTurismo, although a few standard features make their way onto the car. Edmunds reviewers highlight the "Brembo brakes...adaptive bi-xenon headlamps with washers, foglamps, heated exterior mirrors, [and] rear parking sensors," continuing with "leather upholstery [and] heated power front seats with memory and dual-zone automatic climate control" among the standard features on the Maserati GranTurismo. The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo also gets a voice-activated Bose multimedia system, which includes a hookup for media players and Bluetooth connectivity. In terms of interior extras, the only major difference in features between the Maserati GranTurismo and the GranTurismo S is that the S gets aluminum pedals underfoot and a digital tach in the forward instrument cluster.

Maserati is well aware of the caliber of customers and the fact that they are willing to splurge; hence, it offers a list of options that would burn a hole into most pockets. Edmunds remarks that the "options list is notable for its dizzying customization possibilities" as even the "brake calipers can be painted any of five additional colors."

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8.2
Overall
Expert Rating
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Styling 9.0
Performance 9.0
Comfort & Quality 8.0
Safety 7.0
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